Your month ahead (May 2015)

Have a wonderful May!

Aries

Swords Ace

Ace of Swords (again!) – using mental force – being objective, finding out the facts, analysing the situation; having fortitude – facing problems, finding the strength to overcome; seeking justice – righting a wrong, accepting responsibility, establishing the truth; proceeding with truth – cutting through confusion, being honest, having clear understanding

Taurus

Wands Queen

Queen of Wands – being attractive – being appealing and popular, making friends easily, having great sex appeal; being wholehearted – being loaded with enthusiasm, being open and sincere; being energetic – being vigorous and strong, being a natural athlete; being cheerful – having a warm and sunny disposition, having an encouraging word for all; being self-assured – having faith in your abilities, quietly demonstrating self-confidence

Gemini

Pentacles 2

2 of Pentacles – juggling – coping with demands, having a lot of irons in the fire, keeping everything in balance; being flexible – going with the flow, seeing the possibilities, handling challenges; having fun – taking time to play, feeling in high spirits, seeing the humour in the situation

Cancer

Wands Ace

Ace of Wands – using creative force – inventing a better way, expressing yourself, allowing a talent to unfold; showing enthusiasm – feeling fired up and eager, creating an aura of excitement, giving 110%; having confidence – believing in yourself, having high self-esteem, knowing things will work out; proceeding with courage – being true to your beliefs, daring to take a stand, facing your fears

Leo

07 The Chariot

The Chariot – achieving victory – reaching your goal, winning, beating the competition; using your will – rising above temptation, focusing your intent, concentrating your energies; asserting yourself – knowing who you are, feeling self-confident, having faith in yourself; achieving hard control – getting your way, maintaining discipline, curbing impulses

Virgo

11 Justice

Justice – respecting justice – seeking equality, trying to do what is right, insisting on fairness; assuming responsibility – settling old accounts and debts, admitting involvement, doing what has to be done; preparing for a decision – weighing all sides of an issue, setting a course for the future, balancing all factors; understanding cause and effect – seeing how you chose your situation, accepting the results you created, recognising the action of karma, knowing that what is makes sense

Libra

Swords 2

2 of Swords – blocking emotions – denying true feelings, hiding distress, maintaining your cool; avoiding the truth – refusing to look at facts, choosing not to know, ignoring the warning signs; being at a stalemate – staying stuck, refusing to decide, being unwilling to rock the boat

Scorpio

Swords 4

4 of Swords – resting – taking a break, giving your body time to heal, taking life easy; contemplating – taking time alone to think, standing back from the situation, reviewing where you are; quietly preparing – making sure your base is secure, tying up loose ends, stabilising

Sagittarius

Pentacles 7

7 of Pentacles – assessing – evaluating the status, making sure you’re on course, finding out where you stand; reaping a reward – receiving payoffs, reaching a milestone, finally seeing some results; considering a direction change – pondering alternatives, thinking about change, standing at a crossroads

Capricorn

Wands 4

4 of Wands – celebrating – rejoicing over an event, observing an anniversary or milestone or special time, enjoying well-deserved rewards; seeking freedom – breaking free of bonds, cutting loose, letting go of limitations; feeling excited – bubbling over with delight, feeling jubilant, being surprised

Aquarius

Pentacles 10

10 of Pentacles (again!) – enjoying affluence – feeling financially secure, having a good run of fortune, being free from money problems; seeking permanence – looking for a solution that will last, having an orderly family life, being concerned with the long term; following convention – being conservative, taking part in traditions, proceeding according to the rules

Pisces

Swords Prince

Prince of Swords – finding a balance between being direct/blunt – being frank and outspoken/tactless and rude; being authoritative/overbearing – commanding with attention/forcing a position on others; being incisive/cutting – being sharp and alert/having a barbed wit; being knowledgeable/opinionated – having well-reasoned opinions/being arrogant; being logical/unfeeling – reasoning clearly/undervaluing intuition

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The final few

Four workouts done this week!

I had my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following weights circuit with a set of 3 kg weights before beginning the abs challenge:

  • Bicep curls x 10
  • Chest squeeze x 10
  • Upright internal rotation (rotator cuff) x 10
  • Shoulder press x 10

I then did a short squat circuit:

  • Squats x 10
  • Jump squats x 10
  • Bounce squats x 10

Then came the 50-rep finisher (bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions, tricep dips, press-ups). I had some water and spent 15 minutes on the treadmill – alternating between walking and running each minute (1.6 km). Then came the abs challenge for that day:

  • Leg sweep (with my elbows on a bench) x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Plank pulses x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reverse crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • 1-2-3 situps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Repeat three more times

The hardest of those exercises were the leg sweeps (again). And the plank crunches were tough too. In the third and fourth sets, instead of doing the leg sweep, I did a cable to knee exercise using one of the machines. Balancing was hard enough without having to pull in a cable to an alternate knee! And then I was done.

On Monday I went back to the gym and did 5 minutes on the bike as a warmup. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.30 km), alternating between walking and running. Then I did an abs circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reach through crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • A-frame twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Toe touch leg drops x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s
  • Repeat three more times

I did the 50-rep finisher and did a few stretches after that and called it a day.

I had my usual yoga class on Tuesday morning.

I had my session with Trevor on Wednesday. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following circuit:

  • Bench squats x 15
  • Combined bicep curl/shoulder press x 15 (3-kg weights in the first set, 10-lb weights in the second and third sets)
  • Deadlifts x 15 (15-lb weights)
  • Press-ups x 15
  • Bike x 4 min (30 s at level 5 – speed 70 rpm/30 s at level 10 – speed 90 rpm)
  • Rest

In the second and third sets I increased the weights for the second exercise. I also increased the resistance on the bike, alternating between levels 6 and 12 every 30 seconds. In the third set, I didn’t have to do the 4 minutes on the bike.

I then did the abs challenge for the day:

  • Mountain climbers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Side raises x 40 s (20 s on each side)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal in and out x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal toe touches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I did some stretches after that, and was done.

I didn’t work out again the rest of the week. I was out for dinner on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and was exhausted most of the time. I naively thought I might make it to the gym on Friday morning, but didn’t get home from the party I went to until 6am!

Low point of the week? Again, I had friends in town from London and Hong Kong over the weekend and it was crazy. I drank a lot of wine on Thursday, vodka on Friday, and wine and vodka (and even gin as they eventually ran out of vodka) on Saturday! It was great to see everyone here in Dubai though…

High point of the week? Working out four times this week. In spite of drinking a lot over the weekend there was also a lot of dancing – so that must count for something!

Weight loss? Still up and down – meh.

2015-04-26 17.57.23

Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (26 April – 2 May 2015)

Have a wonderful week!

Aries

Pentacles Ace

Ace of Pentacles – using material force – working with the physical, improving the body/health, focusing on concrete results; prospering – having the means to reach a goal, seeing efforts rewarded, increasing assets; being practical – using common sense, being realistic, accepting the tools at hand; proceeding with trust – feeling safe and protected, having a support system, believing in the good faith of others

Taurus

Pentacles Prince

Prince of Pentacles – finding a balance between being unwavering and stubborn – staying fixed to a chosen course and refusing to listen to reason; being cautious and unadventurous – checking/double-checking and being too conservative; being thorough and obsessive – being meticulous and being too picky; being realistic and pessimistic – predicting problems in advance and dooming a project from the start; being hard-working and grinding – being tireless and unflagging and forgetting life should be fun

Gemini

10 The Wheel

The Wheel – feeling a sense of destiny – using what chance offers, finding opportunity in accident, altering the present course; being at a turning point – reversing, having a change in fortune, being surprised at a turn of events; feeling movement – being swept up in new developments, getting involved, experiencing change; having a personal vision – seeing how everything connects, becoming more aware, expanding your outlook

Cancer

Cups 9

9 of Cups – having your wish fulfilled – obtaining your goal, having your dream come true; feeling satisfied – feeling pleased as punch, indulging in a little smugness; enjoying sensual pleasure – relaxing, making love, appreciating the arts

Leo

Swords 9

9 of Swords – worrying – doubting all will go well, going over and over an issue, getting worked up; feeling guilty – wanting to turn back the clock, being hard on yourself, getting overwhelmed by remorse; suffering anguish – feeling you’ve reached your limits, having sleepless nights, wanting to cry

Virgo

Swords 6

6 of Swords – feeling the blues – just keeping your head above water, working to get through the day, feeling somewhat depressed; recovering – dealing with the effects of a trauma, beginning to get your health back, heading toward a more positive place; travelling – changing location, taking a trip, going on a journey, entering into a new frame of mind

Libra

Cups 2

2 of Cups – making a connection – joining with another, celebrating a marriage or union, working together; calling a truce – bringing together opposites, letting bygones be bygones, forgiving and forgetting; acknowledging an attraction – recognising a bond that is developing, accepting your preferences, feeling a positive response

Scorpio

Wands 9

9 of Wands – defending yourself – being paranoid, protecting others, feeling wary and guarded; persevering – trying repeatedly, keeping your resolve, refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer; showing stamina – holding fast, keeping up the pace, continuing despite fatigue

Sagittarius

Cups 8

8 of Cups – seeking deeper meaning – leaving the rat race, finding out the facts, concentrating on what is important; moving on – abandoning a hopeless situation, starting on a trip of unknown length, finishing up and walking away; growing weary – dragging through the day, lacking energy, getting weighed down by worries

Capricorn

Swords 4

4 of Swords – resting – taking a break, giving your body time to heal, taking life easy; contemplating – taking time alone to think, standing back from the situation, reviewing where you are; quietly preparing – making sure your base is secure, tying up loose ends, stabilising

Aquarius

Wands Ace

Ace of Wands – using creative force – inventing a better way, expressing yourself, allowing a talent to unfold; showing enthusiasm – feeling fired up and eager, creating an aura of excitement, giving 110%; having confidence – believing in yourself, having high self-esteem, knowing things will work out; proceeding with courage – being true to your beliefs, daring to take a stand, facing your fears

Pisces

Wands 3

3 of Wands – exploring the unknown – expanding horizons, leaving the secure behind; having foresight – getting a premonition, being visionary; demonstrating leadership – assuming a responsible position, showing others the way

For your monthly readings, click here.

For your weekly readings, click here.

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.

Dubai 2015: Week 16

Another busy week!

After my session with Trevor on Sunday morning, my sister, her husband and I took the kids to the Shangri-La pool. We’d wanted to do this for a while but V2 had been quite unwell and coughing so we thought we’d wait for him to get better. It was his first time in a swimming pool. V1 had insisted from the beginning of their holiday that there was absolutely no way he was going to go swimming. My sister told him to just wear his swimming trunks anyway, and that he didn’t have to come in the water.

We got to the poolside at about 1pm and there were no sunbeds available. We put our stuff down in the lounge area and got V2 ready for his first dip. There were no tears, no fuss. He was very happy floating around in his inflatable turtle! V1 still refused to get in. We were all in the shallow children’s pool and kept pushing V2 back and forth in his turtle. Eventually V1 suggested he might dip his feet in. But just his feet. Once he’d dipped his feet in it didn’t take long for him to put on his armbands, take off his T-shirt and get in the pool with us! At about 2.30pm we sent V2 back home for his milk and nap. V1 was still jumping around in the kids’ pool.

So, we ordered some lunch and some wine. V1 had a couple of chicken nuggets, said he wasn’t hungry any more and got straight back in the pool. Then he insisted that we all go to the big pool. He was really enjoying himself!

At about 4pm, I decided to walk home. V1 was still in the pool with his parents. My sister later told me that on their way home, she asked him if he’d had a good time. ‘Not really,’ he responded. Cheeky!

That evening we had dinner at Silver Fox Steakhouse at Citywalk. We took V1’s dinner from home as they didn’t really have a children’s menu and ordered him some French fries too. He ordered his dessert while we were having our main course – it was the biggest slice of chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. It was bigger than his head!

2015-04-12 21.37.15

Of course, he couldn’t finish it. He had a few bites and then fell asleep. We were all tired from being out in the sun that afternoon. The car had to make two trips to get us all back home so Dad and I walked around while we waited for the car to come back for us.

I worked at home on Monday and Tuesday. Vs 1 and 2 and their parents left for Lagos on Wednesday morning. They left at around 6.45am and I went back to bed. Trevor had also cancelled our session and I was so pleased I could have a lie-in! I had some friends in town who were staying at the Atlantis for the week so I went to meet them for lunch. I got there at 1pm and one of them was waiting for me in the lobby. We walked to where he had left his wife and kids by the pool – it was packed! There wasn’t one sunbed free – and the pool area is huge. We ordered some fresh juice and chatted while the kids went back in the pool. We walked over to Nasimi Beach and had lunch there. It was a really hot day. We ordered a couple of salads and the sushi platter. It was too hot for anything else. I had to leave at around 4pm as I had a piano lesson that afternoon.

After my piano lesson (I started learning a song called ‘Take me to church’), I met up with a friend at Calabar. I still had a bottle of Pinot Grigio left over from my birthday drinks and had to finish it before Friday. We ended up ordering a second bottle and I had more sushi as my dinner. I was home early though, before 10pm.

On Thursday I was at home during the day, catching up on work. That evening I went to the Capital Club party with some friends who are members. The theme this year was ‘The 7-year itch’. There were a lot of Marilyn wigs and dresses, and one woman even showed up in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny (pink) polka dot bikini! The spread of food was amazing. Last year we made the mistake of drinking first and missed out on all the good food. This year, we knew exactly what to do!

After a couple of drinks, we went down to the third floor. There was a seafood section with oysters, lobster, smoked salmon and different kinds of ceviche. Yum. They also had the champagne bar on that floor. After we were done with the seafood, we were able to walk through the kitchen where they had fresh caviar (I’m not a fan) and where they were preparing the foie gras. Gosh, it was so good. And it was empty! So we hung around there for a bit and decided to go back upstairs.

We stopped on the fourth floor to see what was on offer there – there was one room where they were preparing salt beef sandwiches and nothing else. Again, that room was empty at this point. After the salt beef we decided to go back up to the main bar and maybe try and find somewhere to sit. On the way back up the stairs, I could smell cheese – and remembered from the year before that there was a whole room with nothing but cheese in it. We decided to come back for it in a little while. We found a table out on the terrace and made ourselves comfortable. It was nice to sit down! We spent an hour there – someone went in and came back with two plates of cheese. Heaven! Once the bar on the fifth floor closed, we went back down to the fourth floor. Earlier in the evening they had different live bands on each floor, but now they’d set up the DJ and dance floor – and we danced the rest of the night. Until 3am. Until they threw us out (in a nice way). None of us took any photos which was a shame. On the way out there was a guy passed out on the sofa – and I did take a photo of that, but nobody really wants to see it.

By the time I got home it was almost 4am and I was exhausted. I woke up on Friday at 10am. I wasn’t hungover – I had stuck to vodka the night before – but I was tired. I got ready and went to a friend’s champagne breakfast for her birthday at her place. I picked up a friend on the way and we got to her place at about 11.30. She had scrambled eggs, cold cuts, croissants and champagne. It was a really nice start to the day – and the view from her balcony is gorgeous!

2015-04-17 12.48.47

I also liked the way she was collecting champagne corks!

2015-04-17 13.28.10

At 1pm her limo arrived to take everyone to Cove Beach at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. I had declined this part of the invitation as I knew it would be a long day and I knew I would be tired from the night before.

I went home, got into bed and tried to do some work. I also tried to have a nap but couldn’t. That evening I had a friend in town from London for the weekend (the same one from January and February). We went to the 40th birthday part of one of his friends – it was at the Atlantis, in one of the ballrooms. I knew more people there than I thought I would. Champagne was flowing, we had some dinner – my friend who was staying at the hotel joined us for a drink too (she abandoned her kids and husband for an hour). There were also live performances by Apache Indian (yes, he’s still alive) and Sukhbir. It was a fun evening – lots of dancing – but it was another late night and I got home after 3am.

I didn’t want to wake up on Saturday. I stayed in bed for as long as possible and then got out of bed for lunch. Later that afternoon I met a couple of friends for coffee at the Dubai Mall. They were already at Papparoti so I joined them there. It was my first time at Papparoti and they just couldn’t believe I’d never tried it. Part of me hadn’t wanted to try it because I thought I’d like it so much I’d be eating their buns all the time. I ordered a ginger milk tea (low fat) and had a bite from one of the buns they’d ordered. It was… OK. I think I’d heard so much about these buns that I was a little disappointed. At least I know I won’t be tempted by them again! After we said our goodbyes, I ended up buying two dresses from Debenhams – and then went home.

I love my life.

For more updates, click here.

The final few

Five workouts done this week!

I had my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following weights circuit before beginning the abs challenge:

  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 10 (body bar)
  • Bent-over row x 10 (15-lb weights)
  • Sumo squats x 10 (20-lb weight)
  • Dumbbell jabs x 10 (3-kg weights)
  • Abductor machine x 10 (47 kg)
  • Lateral pulldown x 10
  • Repeat

In the second set I increased the reps to 15 for each exercise. I also increased the weights for the abductor machine to 54 kg. After that I did 15 minutes on the treadmill – alternating between walking and running each minute (1.6 km). And then I did an abs circuit:

  • Feet elevated crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Breakdance leg sweeps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Knee to elbow twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Plank walkers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Repeat three more times

The hardest of those exercises were the breakdance sweeps (again). And the plank walkers were hard on my shoulders and back. After the first two sets I had to rest on my knees to do them!

After that I thought I was done for the day but Trevor put me back on the treadmill for 3 minutes at a speed of 6 km/h with an incline of 6%. And then I was done for the day.

On Monday I went back to the gym and did 5 minutes on the bike as a warmup. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.27 km), alternating between walking and running. Then I did an abs circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reach through crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • A-frame twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Toe touch leg drops x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s
  • Repeat three more times

I did the 50-rep finisher and did a few stretches after that and called it a day.

I had my usual yoga class on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday night Trevor cancelled our Wednesday morning session. I went to the gym anyway. I was tired though and after my 5-minute warmup on the bike I decided to just walk for 20 minutes (2:07 km). I then did the abs challenge for that day:

  • Situps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Spiderman crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • V ups x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Hip rolls x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I still found the hip rolls really difficult – the Spiderman crunches were getting slightly easier. I did that circuit four times and finished off with the 50-rep finisher and was done for the day.

On Thursday, I decided to do the 20 minutes of cardio on the bike instead of the treadmill. I thought it might be easier but it really wasn’t! I kept alternating between level 5 and level 10 and would also pick up speed when I was on level 10. After the cardio I did the following circuit:

  • Lying leg raises x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Lying hip thrusts x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Scissor kicks x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

That circuit was actually for Saturdays but as I never make it to the gym over the weekend I thought I’d give it a go. I ended with the 50-rep finisher.

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? Again, I was out a lot this week – lunch on Sunday and Wednesday; dinner on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and a friend’s champagne breakfast on Friday (I had a croissant – the first one I’ve had in ages)! I also drank a little on Sunday and Wednesday; and a lot on Thursday and Friday. Oh, but it was so much fun!

High point of the week? Working out five times this week again. I’ve been consistent for six weeks now, but I still feel the only place I’ve really lost weight is my face.

Weight loss? Still up and down – meh.

Sweat

Read more updates here.

Your week ahead (19-25 April 2015)

Have a wonderful week!

Aries

Pentacles 3

3 of Pentacles – working as a team – finding all the needed elements, functioning as a team, cooperating; planning – organising resources, reviewing beforehand, being prepared; being competent – getting the job done, meeting your goals, being up to the job

Taurus

Swords 4

4 of Swords – resting – taking a break, giving your body time to heal, taking life easy; contemplating – taking time alone to think, standing back from the situation, reviewing where you are; quietly preparing – making sure your base is secure, tying up loose ends, stabilising

Gemini

12 The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man – letting go – accepting what is, ending the struggle, giving up control; reversing – turning the world around, seeing from a new angle, overturning old priorities; suspending action – giving up urgency, living in the moment, pausing to reflect; sacrificing – putting self-interest aside, putting others first, giving up for a higher cause

Cancer

Pentacles Queen

Queen of Pentacles – being nurturing – giving love and support, making people feel better; being big-hearted – giving freely and abundantly; being down-to-earth – handling problems matter-of-factly, taking a simple and sensible approach; being resourceful – making a little go a long way, being handy and versatile; being trustworthy – being loyal and steadfast, keeping confidences and secrets

Leo

Pentacles 7

7 of Pentacles – assessing – evaluating the status, making sure you’re on course, finding out where you stand; reaping a reward – receiving payoffs, reaching a milestone, finally seeing some results; considering a direction change – pondering alternatives, thinking about change, standing at a crossroads

Virgo

Wands 10

10 of Wands – over-extending – trying to do too much, refusing to say ‘no’, having to work overtime; feeling burdened – assuming responsibility, being left holding the bag, never having time to relax; struggling – doing everything the hard way, pushing against the current, having to work for every gain

Libra

02 The High Priestess

The High Priestess – staying non-active – withdrawing from involvement, being receptive to influence, waiting patiently; accessing the unconscious – using your intuition, trusting your inner voice, being aware of a larger reality; seeing the potential – allowing development, opening to what could be; sensing the mystery – opening to the unknown, seeking what is concealed, looking beyond the obvious

Scorpio

Cups 10

10 of Cups – feeling joy – radiating love, delighting in good fortune, counting your blessings; enjoying peace – doing away with hostilities, reducing stress and tension, calling a truce; looking to the family – working for peace in the home, supporting a relative in need, reaffirming a family commitment

Sagittarius

08 Strength

Strength – showing strength – having stamina, being a rock; being patient – refusing to get angry, taking time, maintaining composure; being compassionate – understanding what others are feeling, giving others lots of space, being kind; achieving soft control – guiding indirectly, being able to influence, demonstrating the strength of love

Capricorn

05 The Hierophant

The Hierophant – getting an education – pursuing knowledge, seeking a deeper meaning; having a belief system – identifying a world view, knowing where to put your faith; conforming – fitting in, doing what’s expected; identifying with a group – devoting energy to a group, feeling loyal to others

Aquarius

Cups 8

8 of Cups – seeking deeper meaning – leaving the rat race, finding out the facts, concentrating on what is important; moving on – abandoning a hopeless situation, starting on a trip of unknown length, finishing up and walking away; growing weary – dragging through the day, lacking energy, getting weighed down by worries

Pisces

Swords 6

6 of Swords – feeling the blues – just keeping your head above water, working to get through the day, feeling somewhat depressed; recovering – dealing with the effects of a trauma, beginning to get your health back, heading toward a more positive place; travelling – changing location, taking a trip, going on a journey, entering into a new frame of mind

For your monthly readings, click here.

For your weekly readings, click here.

For a personal tarot reading, please contact me.